Sterling Heights Foreclosed Homes
In my opinion, nothing shows a situation such as home foreclosures better than a map. Recently I was made aware that Google Maps has a real estate search feature with a check box that allows you to show foreclosed homes. Today (December 9, 2010) I took a screen shot of the current foreclosure list in Sterling Heights and I have displayed the results below.
I can’t think of a single way to more clearly illustrate the disconnect between the financial condition of the residents of Sterling Heights and the spending that’s going on by the guys up on Utica Road.
As you can see, the southern half of the city seems to be hardest hit by a slight margin. It’s a matter of debate as to whether or not the southwest portion is worse than the southeast portion, but it is very easy to tell that the overall level of foreclosures is very high. In my own “square mile” — bounded by 15 Mile, Ryan, Metropolitan Parkway and Mound Roads — there are 25 foreclosed homes. Compare this with the situation from just a few short years ago when foreclosures were pretty rare.
Obviously, the city cannot control the number of foreclosures. What the administration can do, however, is make an attempt to do no more harm.
A lot is said at City Council meeting by both the politicians and some residents about how we need to move forward with certain expenditures to “maintain our quality of life” or “attract new residents”. The sad fact of the matter is that the current residents are barely hanging on by a thread. Increasing our property tax burden and then spending that money wastefully will surely not help the situation.
In regards to “attracting new residents” — unfortunately for all of us, the problem is not confined within the purple border I’ve drawn on the map. If you visit Google Maps you will see that the problem extends across the entire metropolitan area. Use the instructions found at the LifeHacker website to view the foreclosures for yourself.
If people had the money to purchase full-priced homes in Sterling Heights, the surrounding area on the map would not be bleeding red with foreclosure dots. Remember, the most likely place from which new residents might come are other suburbs in the area. People from outside the Detroit area are not exactly clamoring to move here.
Next time you hear about “attracting new residents” ask yourself — “from where?” And then consider whether the expenditure being proposed is a powerful enough draw to overcome economic reality.